A special kind of exercise with a special kind of bond between friends.
That’s what it’s like for the Shipwreck Alley roller derby team in Alpena. Every Spring, the Shipwreck Alley Rollers put together a learn to play roller derby boot camp, inviting anyone interested to try out and enjoy the fun and excitement of the full contact sport. “So I saw that they were recruiting on Facebook and flyers around town,” said Rae (Scary Jane) Guzman. “I started coming to the learn to skate and learn to play derby. We worked on skills progressively throughout those six weeks.”
“I wasn’t sure if I could skate or not, but with the help of all these athletes they guided me through the stops, how to go backwards– everything and I’m getting there,” said Krista (Phoenix) Hemple, another first-timer.
Monday night, the group met for their final scrimmage. “There’s this whole group of women that come from all different walks of life and none of us would probably, really hang out together had we not decided we love this sport,” said Tracy (Red Zeppelin), general manager of the Shipwreck Alley Rollers. “I think it’s great that we can feel empowered as women to play full contact.”
Safety gear and skates are provided for the boot camp, to join no experience is needed and the team will teach you everything you need to know to compete. “There’s room for everyone, whether you’re fast and quick or maybe you’re built like a brick house and you’re ready to block somebody,” said Guzman. “There is a spot for everyone and that’s one thing that I really love about it.”
If you’re looking to get involved you can visit the Shipwreck Alley Rollers website.